Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Painting by Sophia Kalski of a young girl hiding in an underground bunker with a group of men, women, and children

Object | Accession Number: 2004.698.15

Oil painting created by Sophia Kalski in 1985 about one day in her life as a 10 year girl n the ghetto in Trembowla, Poland (Terebovlia, Ukraine), on April 7, 1943. It depicts a long, narrow, rectangular space, filled with long line of children, men, and women, sandwiched between 2 thick sections of light brown dirt. There is a jagged slash of red paint in the upper right corner. In Sophia’s words: "In this painting, part of a bunker is seen and in it, people hiding. Outside, the aktion was going on full force for a whole day on Apr. 7, 1943. In my hometown of Trembowla in Galicia, among the people that are hiding, I am there as well. I am ten years old, and I am with my mom. In the bunker, we are suffocating because of lack of air. The only air reaching us is through the thin pipes. At a certain moment, when I was in the bunker, I felt that I am suffocating because of lack of air, but with the help of people in the bunker, I survived, and all the people that were in the bunker survived as well."
In early 1942, Sophia and her parents, Natan and Sarah, were imprisoned in the Jewish ghetto in Trembowla, Poland (Terebovlia, Ukraine), by the occupying Germans. Natan escaped to Lwow, and Sophia was sent to live with him. In January 1943, Natan, died of typhus. Ten year old Sophia was on her own in the ghetto until March when she was able to escape and get back to Trembowla. That summer, the Germans began to destroy the ghetto, killing or deporting its Jewish residents. Sophia and her mother escaped to Humniska, where a Gentile couple, Anna and Voitek Gutonski, hid them in an underground burrow until the Soviet army liberated the area in March 1944.Oil painting created by Sophia Kalski about her life as a 9 year girl in the Lvov ghetto during the Holocaust.

Artwork Title
Hiding during aktion
creation:  approximately 1990
depiction:  1943 April 07
creation: Israel
depiction: Trembowla ghetto (Poland) (historic); Terebovlia (Ukraine)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sophia Kalski
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:47:35
This page: